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Tuesday, January 11, 2000

An Asian Virtual Roadshow

Reported by Hayley Green

Matthews International Capital Management has expanded its family of no-load Asian mutual funds, now six strong, with the addition of the Matthews Asian Technology Fund. The new fund launch coincides with a "Virtual Roadshow," to introduce all types of investors to the fund family in a professional, institutional-style setting.

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The Matthews Roadshow
The Roadshow is a 14 minute Internet presentation consisting of 17 slides explaining the six funds, their focus, the Asian market and the company's investment style. The presentation mirrors in many ways the traditional pitch given to advisors in more intimate settings.

"For us it's a learning experience being able communicate with people on an ongoing basis," said Mark Headley, president of Matthews International Capital Management and assistant portfolio manager. "The professional community is used to having breakfasts and lunches. As a company you make plans but then something unforeseen comes up. People are scattered to the four winds. If we have our druthers we would never do an old roadshow."

The PowerPoint presentation used in the "roadshow" is put together with audio and a static picture of the speaker. The total cost for the production was about $10,000 and yesterday about 1,300 people watched, Headley said. "I can't understand how this is not the wave of the future. People in Asia were able to see it."

Typically when a mutual fund is launched the crew has to visit three to five cities and a dedicated sales/marketing exec spends about six weeks planning the trip, Headley said. This is a vast difference from the two hours and 15 minutes it took to put the audio together.

Back to the funds! The Matthews fund complex now consists of:

  • The Matthews Pacific Tiger Fund
  • The Matthews Asian Growth and Income Fund
  • The Matthews Korea Fund
  • The Matthews Japan Fund
  • The Matthews Dragon Century China Fund
  • The Matthews Asian Technology Fund

    The funds will be distributed though all major supermarkets and Provident Distributors. The funds have a minimum investment of $2,500 and a 2% redemption fee for those holding the funds less than 90 days. The expense ratio is capped at 2% and 1.9% on the diversified funds, Headley said.  

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